X Close

Institute of Education Blog

Home

Expert opinion from academics at the UCL Institute of Education

Menu

Schools never shut: the extraordinary lengths teachers have been going to in supporting children during lockdown

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 June 2020

Alice Bradbury.

There has been much discussion in the news about schools ‘re-opening’ in the last few weeks; however, schools have never been ‘closed’ during the COVID-19 crisis, and in fact, teachers have been working incredibly hard to support their communities during the lockdown period.

As well as continuing to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children, including through school holidays, staff have been engaged in a variety of activities which stretch far beyond their normal roles, as our research in the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (HHCP) has shown.

Our mission in HHCP is to improve children’s lives through pedagogy; during this crisis, we have prioritised supporting parents at home (through campaigns such as our ‘Get children thinking’  project) and – the focus here – documenting the experiences of staff in schools and the early years sector. We have spoken to and surveyed leaders across the field of primary and early years education, gathering fascinating testimonies of the experiences of the (more…)

Get children thinking: why philosophy is the perfect lockdown activity for youngsters

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 May 2020

Yana Manyukhina 

Lockdown unquestionably brings significant challenges into children’s education. But it also presents an opportunity for parents and carers ­– and teachers – to create new, more inspiring and more freeing learning environments for children learning at home.

What is enjoyable, effective and easy to implement, while developing children’s cognitive, emotional and social skills? Philosophy. It offers open ended challenges which are fun, and which stretch those brain cells in every direction.

In order to help parents and carers initiate valuable philosophical conversations with children, the team at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy at UCL has designed a new social media campaign called “GetChildrenThinking”. Every week, a different philosophical question appears on the Centre’s Twitter Feed, followed by a mid-week prompt to further ignite and enrich the discussion. The first two are: What is fairness? and What is it like to be a bat? Bring philosophy into your home by following this link.

In my experience of teaching philosophy to primary and secondary students, (more…)